Tenants' Union news

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Latest news and analysis

At least I have a room

08/03/2016
Gretta
This is a story about Gretta, a boarding house resident. She has lived in two boarding houses. The first she liked very much as it included a communal living area as well as shared facilities. About two years ago the building was sold and she had to move out. With the help of staff at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Gretta was able to find cheaper accommodation but the current boarding house doesn’t have any living room space or anywhere outdoors to go.
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Transgender women and homelessness

08/03/2016
Alyssa
Parental rejection and family violence based on gender identity have been cited as causes of homelessness for young trans people in Australia. The insecurity of homelessness can in turn have devastating effects on a person’s mental and physical health. Given that trans people are already four times more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than the general population, the compounding effects of homelessness on trans people can be dire. In this article Dylan Stanford discusses these issues, with insights from Alyssa, a young bisexual trans woman with lived experience of homelessness and housing.
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The relief of never having to go home

08/03/2016
Broken window
"Fleeing an abusive relationship was the most frightening experience of my life. By the time we fled, it was already a game of life or death. Leaving often angers the abuser even more and my case was no exception. My husband needed absolute control and by the time we fled he was watching everything I did, every item I purchased, every train I took and every toll I drove through. He logged my phone location, read my emails, messages and files, and monitored my social media. How can you flee when the “modern day aids” of our digital lives are key weapons for control?"
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Ombudsman for retirees?

04/03/2016
Amelia
In Victoria a number of advocacy groups are campaigning for a special Ombudsman to administer complaints against the retirement housing sector, including residential parks. The Consumer Law Action Centre (Victoria) has reported older people routinely calling for advice about unfair fees, complex contracts, bullying and intimidation. Sound familiar? Some of these issues are what we regularly hear about from park residents.
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RLC submission to the Review of the Residential Tenancies Act

12/02/2016
Redfern Legal Centre's logo - a stylised building graphic
It has been five years since the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 came into force and it is now due for its five year statutory review. In October 2015, NSW Fair Trading released a discussion paper and Redfern Legal Centre provided input to the review that focused on the following main areas (as well as comments on other areas).
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Merry Christmas

17/12/2015
Parks team
Paul, Jemima and Julie from the parks team at the Tenants' Union of NSW wish you - our Outasite Lite readers - a very Merry Christmas and Happy New year. We enjoyed sharing residential parks news with you in 2015 and hearing back from you about the stories and updates we send through. Thank you for the positive feedback you kindly send us.
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Community education project gets underway

17/12/2015
Community education
Along with local tenant advocates we got out and about visiting parks and delivering education sessions in early November.
First stop: Western Sydney
We kicked off our community education project in Western Sydney. Julie Lee, Residential Parks Officer at the Tenants’ Union, and Franya Repolusk from the Western Sydney Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service started the week by visiting residential parks across Western Sydney.
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New laws for park residents

11/12/2015
Paul and Len
On 1 November 2015 the laws governing the relationship between park owners and park residents changed. In fact, parks are not even called parks any more - the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 renames them “residential communities”. So, what does this mean for residents of these communities? Find out in the first Issue of Outasite!
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What is a special levy?

03/11/2015
Outasite article
Under the new Act if home owners want a new facility or an improvement to the community and the operator refuses to fund it, the home owners can vote to pay for it. This is a special levy.
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Understanding the ins and outs of utility charges

03/11/2015
Outasite article
In the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 electricity, gas, water and sewerage service are dealt with under the generic term ‘utility’.
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